For Orthodox clergy and laity the Parish Development Forum is a conference which provides an opportunity for discussion of timely topics and discovery of practices used by healthy, vibrant Orthodox parishes.
The Forum, now in its tenth year, is co-sponsored by the Orthodox Church in America’s Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania, the Diocese of the Midwest and the Bulgarian Diocese.
After three years online the 2023 Forum will once again be held as an in-person event.
1:00 PM Thursday July 13 thru noon Saturday July 15, 2023.
Host parish will be Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, Parma OH.
Register by June 22, 2023 to Save
Registration will be online only and will open shortly after Pascha. The registrations received before June 22 will be eligible for a $75 per attendee early bird rate. After June 22 registration will be $150 per attendee. Registration fee includes two lunches, two dinners, breaks, conference materials and an attendee reception.
A block of rooms has been reserved at Extended Stay America, Independence OH. Rates for a King room will be $99/night will be valid up to three weeks before the event. Info on reserving a room willbe available when registration opens.
Theme: "Our Parish and the Future"
Workshops keynotes, and breakout sessions will consider the important positive and negative changes in parish life over the last ten years and the societal, cultural, demographic and even technological trends that will shape the growth, health and impact of Orthodoxy and Orthodox parishes in America over the next five to ten years.
The 2030 Project
These discussions, labeled "The 2030 Project" form the heart of the Forum agenda. Attendees will collaborate to identify the key behaviors, skills and characteristics of healthy Orthodox parishes in that time frame. Three areas of stress and opportunity willbe explored:
Clergy Laity Dynamics
First is the stress and tension felt by clergy and parish leaders as the pandemic recedes. Frayed clergy - laity relations and even clergy burnout are not uncommon. We intend to explore this in a major agenda segment titled: Clergy Laity Dynamics.
Attracting and Integrating Converts
The flurry of inquirers, catechumens and converts being experienced by many parisheswill be the second area of concentration. This legofthe agenda will help parishes to understand the motivations behind the increase in interest in Orthodox Christianity, to communicate well to seekers and to carefully manage the integration of new faces into a changing parish fabric is the focus of the segment on “Attracting and Integrating Converts”.
A survey of recent Orthodox converts will help provide Forum content. The survey can be accessed soon.
Connecting with the Neighborhood
As new people -- often younger than current parishioners -- arrive in parishes, their interests may be more strongly committed to charitable outreach and living the gospel. The third leg of Project 2030 will help parishes to navigate these new interests in the segment ‘Connecting with the Neighborhood’. To enhance this segment attendees have the option of participating in a pre-forum field trip to visit Cleveland's St. Herman's House of Hospitality-- a ministry of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve.
Attendee Rebates for Sponsoring Dioceses
Attendees from sponsoring OCA Dioceses (Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania, and the Midwest and Bulgarian Dioceses) will be eligible for a rebate of the early bird ($75) registrtion fee after Forum attendance.
2015 Forum Materials
To view photos and materials from the 2015 Small Parish Forum -- click here.
To View Photos and materials from 2014 Small parish Forum Click Here.